Social Security and Divorce: Important Facts About Eligibility

Do you have questions about social security after divorce? Are you concerned about not being prepared for your retirement?


Getting older can bring a host of challenges, as certain parts of life get harder. But there are some things that we as Americans do have to look forward to (besides retirement and grandchildren), and that’s social security benefits. Retiring means a decrease in your income, and with the possibility of mounting medical bills and increased living expenses, every little bit helps. Which is why you need to know what’s up with you social security benefits if you’re divorced!


If you and your spouse have parted ways, you may still be eligible for social security benefits. But how do you find out? Is there some complicated formula, or unreasonably long list of requirements? Nope, it’s actually not hard at all. Let’s break it down together.


You can claim benefits from your ex’s social security benefits!


You are eligible to claim a higher retirement benefit based on your ex’s work record as long as certain basic requirements are met. And don’t worry – this applies to both ex-spouses, ex-wives and ex-husbands, including divorced spouses who were in same-sex marriages. So what are the basic requirements?


The basic requirements that must be met are:


  • Regardless of when your marriage ended, you and your former spouse must have been married for at least 10 consecutive years.
  • Both you and your ex have to have reached 62 years of age, at minimum, before you can start claiming as an ex-spouse.
  • You cannot have remarried if you want to collect on your ex’s work record.
  • You and your ex must have been divorced for at least two years, or your ex must already be claiming retirement benefits.


So how much are you going to get in benefits?


Now that you know what the requirements are for you to qualify, are you curious about how much you’ll get? If you’ve met all of the basic requirements for eligibility, your retirement benefit would be half of your ex’s primary insurance amount (PIA). But only if you claim the benefits once you’ve reached your full retirement age.


Currently, the full retirement age is 66 years and 2 months for people born in 1955 or before. However,  it will gradually rise to 67 years of age for anyone born in 1960 or later. Although early retirement benefits are still available at age 62, they will be a reduced amount. However, there’s a catch. You’re only eligible for a retirement benefit based on your ex’s wage record, if it’s a higher amount than you would have received based on your own wage record.


Do you need help figuring out your divorce agreement?

Life after divorce can be complex. Sometimes as complicated as the divorce process itself. But you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. The highly skilled family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm are experienced in all aspects of the divorce process, from alimony and child support, to custody arrangements and asset division. Call us 24/7 at 866 766 5245. We are here to help.